Economic Times: March, 2016
Mumbai: European plane maker Airbus plans to invest $40 million (Rs 260 crore) in the first phase of setting up a pilot and maintenance training center close to Delhi. The centre is likely to be operational by the end of 2017.
Srinivasan Dwarakanathan, president of Airbus division in India said this is the aerospace company's biggest capital investment in the country yet.
The centre will be fully owned by the Airbus Group with training to be delivered by Airbus' specialised training instructors. It will house four A320 full-flight simulators and will have the capacity to train over 8,000 pilots and 2,000 engineers over 10 years from 2018 onwards, the company said in a statement.
Airbus has 210 of its planes flying in India and an order for over 500 from the likes of budget carriers IndiGo and Go Air.
According to Airbus' latest global market forecast, India requires over 1,600 passenger and freighter aircraft in the next 20 years to 2034, with an accompanying demand for new pilots and maintenance engineers.
The company in 2013 established a pilot training centre in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It comprises of two A320 full flight simulators and has the potential for further expansion.
The European plane maker has pilot training centres at its headquarters in Toulouse, Miami, China and Singapore.
In 2014, Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore Airlines to open a training centre with a joint initial investment of $80 million. Airbus owns 55% in the centre while the rest is owned by the Singaporean carrier. When fully operational, the Singapore centre will have eight full flight simulators, including four A350 XWBs, one A380, one A330 and two A320s. The centre will also offer classroom facilities and will be able to offer courses for more than 10,000 trainees per year.
In 1997, Airbus opened a $80 million centre in Beijing to train pilots, cabin attendants and mechanics.